About 12,343 human babies are born each day in the United States.
While this may seem like a large number, the number of puppies born outnumber children 15 to 1, and kittens born outnumber children being born 45 to 1.
Do the math. That’s 185,145 puppies and 555,435 kittens born each day!So where do all these animals go?
"Some are purchased or adopted. But far too many are dumped on the side of the road, abandoned and abused, struggling for their lives," said Paige Satcher, a volunteer with East Mississippi Animal Rescue (EMAR) and guest speaker at the June meeting of the Long Creek Community Development Club.
"Far too many of them are killed by other animals. Of the ones that make it to be weaned off their mothers, they don’t stand much of a chance from being succumbed to fatal diseases, which are easily preventable. Some may wind up on your doorstep and taken in, if they are lucky. Because far too many stray animals wind up being taken to animal control.
In recent years, 73,000 dogs and cats have been euthanized every year in the state of Mississippi – 4,000 just in Lauderdale County.
“This is why it is so important to spay and neuter your pets,” Satcher said. “We wish we could take all of them. But we can’t, and it’s heartbreaking. There are too many of them being born, and there simply aren’t enough homes for them all.”
Also hard is letting the animals go to good homes after fostering them. “You get attached,” Satcher said as she motioned to Pepper. a 2-year-old rat terrier mix who – along with her six puppies – was rescued by EMAR, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding safe, compatible homes for abandoned and abused cats and dogs.
Through a partner rescue group up North, Pepper's puppies have been adopted by people in Boston, Mass. Pepper, on the other hand, is a great dog who still needs a great home.
Pepper has been spayed, vaccinated and treated for a bad case of heartworms. Today, she is a very healthy companion waiting for her forever home. Satcher is fostering Pepper and says that foster homes are very important to socialize and house train animals, in addition to work with the animals in overcoming their fears.
“Pepper is afraid of men,” Satcher said. However, she quickly warmed up to Winky Litchfield, a male club member, who held the little dog as Satcher spoke.
Satcher informed the club members that every other animal cared for by EMAR will be spayed or neutered, brought up-to-date on their vaccinations, and treated for any illnesses they may have before they are adopted.
Before an animal can leave EMAR, an application must be completed. This is to ensure that the new home is safe and compatible for each animal. There is also a nominal adoption fee which helps to cover the cost of preparing each animal for their new home. The fee for cats is $100, $150 for dogs.
As long as there is a need for EMAR, there will always be a need for donations to help balance the cost of medical expenses and food. New or gently used collars, leashes and toys are also needed.
And, as long as there is a need for educating people on the importance to spay or neuter dogs and cats, and to prevent heartworms and other ailments, Satcher said she and her fellow volunteers will promote awareness to hopefully one day eliminate the need for EMAR.
Yard of the Month for June went to Michael and Pam Thompson of Crescent Lake Road.
The next Long Creek Community Development Club meeting will be an ice cream and cake social on July 14 at 7 p.m.
Submitted by Jill Walsh, reporter.
To find out more about the East Mississippi Animal Rescue (EMAR), visit their website at www.eastmsanimalrescue.com or call (601) 553-3060. EMAR volunteers also take adoptable animals to Petco store several Saturdays each month to showcase. EMAR is a 501 (C ) 3 non-profit organization.